You’ve committed to making this a pivotal shift and have formulated and begun the perfect wellness program.
Now let’s get real about the most important additional ingredients that you might be neglecting. Don’t.
You’ll die without sleep sooner than you’ll die without food. Obviously, I’ve never put that claim to the test, but the source is deemed reliable. Sleep deprivation has, for many years, been used as a form of torture. Are you getting the picture about the importance of sleep? Those of you who think that your body and mind can do without enough of it have already given evidence that you’re not getting enough sleep.
When you’re stressing out the body with intense workouts, giving it sufficient time to recuperate is paramount. Ignore the stress long enough and your body will let you know unequivocally that rest is necessary.
2. Diet and Nutrition
It is much more efficient and effective to refrain from eating too many calories than to eat too much, figuring that you’re going to ‘burn it off’ later. Here’s why that mentality will sink your ship: those cookies that you ate for a snack in three minutes will take you at least forty-five strenuous minutes on the stair machine to break even.
Exercise increases the need for certain nutritional components, especially protein. It’s not necessary to go crazy over this because you only need what is sufficient. The same is true of other vital nutrients. What is not needed by the body is eliminated (or stored as fat if it has caloric value). Under certain circumstances, such as non water soluble vitamins, too much can be dangerous.
If you’re serious about fitness, you must be serious about nutrition; but not to extremes. Educate yourself as you go. Disregard all advice that leads you to think that you can ‘rapidly melt fat away’ or anything similar. Your metabolism simply does not work that way. Period.
3. A Supportive and Knowledgeable Training Partner
You can purchase one at your local gym in the form of a personal trainer but if you have a friend that fits that description, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many times I have shared my enthusiasm for fitness with friends by getting them started with the basics. Some gyms are sensitive about people in their facility instructing others, but I haven’t encountered any problems. Just to be clear, I am not a personal trainer and have only trained with friends and family who have asked.
During this past year I have benefited greatly by training together with a great friend who is accomplished in other areas of fitness, including Parkour. The opportunity to have a spotter for safety reasons, a coach correcting my form, and a friend encouraging me was critical to my improvement.